18 July 2008


Back in 1987 I had a job at a company called; Tee Shirt Print. This was a cooler job then you might think as TSP was a bigger company then their one shop in Old Christchurch road, Bournemouth would suggest. In fact it was an international company with retail out lets all over the UK and manufacturing facilities in Egypt and China. "Their own manufacturing facilities".

In his office, that looked like a 7 year old's bedroom, Neil practice some more colouring in. Hawthorn Offices 87ish.


One day I was introduced to a guy called Adam Yeadon and this really was an introduction that would change my life for ever, although I would never tell Adam that! :) Adam needed to borrow our large repro camera and from then on he would come down to my studio, perhaps once a day to use it. Anyway one thing lead to another and one day he asked me if I wanted to partner with him, to set up a new Bournemouth based design studio. Eventually I said agreed and Hawthorn Creative Design was borne.

Adam at his work station with our one and only £7000 Mac.

OUR £7000 MAC:
At the time we took it all for granted or may be I did but I think we were the second company in Bournemouth to have a colour Mac computer. I can't remember what type it was because I was taking it all for granted, remember? What I do remember is that it cost us £7000 "£SEVEN GRAND! '

These were the days before the internet, we still did much of our artwork on drawing boards and I used to produce colour visuals using colour felt pens, Pantone pens that cost £3 or £4 even then. Faxes were still quite new and in the very early days, we used to go down to a bureau in town to send ours. I can remember when colour photocopiers first came on the scene, My god this meant we could make colour copies of our visuals and send those to the client and keep the originals as a back up for if they lost or damaged it, which they bloody did, often, still the clients choice.

This is a pre colour inkjet printer visual for Pizza Hut
This is how your take Away menu would have looked in about 1998-99?

Sometimes in a lunch hour, Rick Astley would pop-in to show us his new dance routines.

Norwegian Wood, looking good as it should, in it's fur lined hood.
Every day for lunch or you just weren't cool.

Norwegian Wood, Dom and I having a very bizo lunch time chat over a mediocre cup of coffee. Is it me or does Dom look like a young Ricky Gervais?

This is an Agfa repro camera for producing bromides, that we used in our artwork.
I use to spend a lot of the day in here. Needless to say, in days before air conditioning, 
it got very hot.

Adam told me on many occasions, that it was possible to get quite a nasty electric shock from a computer screen, he was always slow to take his own advice.

Hawthorn sadly came to an end, in the property crash at the end of the 80's, for reasons beyond the scope of this post. But again one thing lead to another and Adam found him self working at; Generic Marketing for Steve Gunnell, who used to be one of our clients in the old Hawthorn days. Pretty soon Adams brother; Dominic joined the team, closely followed by me and the four of us set about a little bit of creative empire building.

At Generic Marketing you were always greeted with a warm and sincere smile.

Steve Gunnell master of all he surveyed.

Steve was an interesting guy to work for but on the whole Generic was a very successful business and we all enjoyed working there but again, like all good things, in 1996 Steve had to radically restructure his company to survive. It was at this point, for a time we all went our separate ways and I established Neil Stevens Designs later to become Deshok.com.

28 days later? Shaun of the dead? there's no need to decide.

A tidy office is an efficient office. (Early Deshok days).

"So this tidy office concept, can you explain it to me again"?

Peak Performance Plus? Really?

I just don't seem to be able to get rid of Adam and Dom but of course, it might be the other way around, as we are all working in similar business now and our offices are on the same floor, in the same building. We have all known and worked with each other, almost every day for 21 years. One day I may look back and see just how special this relationship is but for now, I'm just taking it for granted :).


1 comment:

  1. Scary – although not as scary as my later shots – More Rick Waller that Rick Astley!

    Still – eat big – s*@%t big.

    Nice blog post Mate.